Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year and a Word

We woke up yesterday to find our  backyard blanketed in many more inches of snow than we had expected.  It was the thick, heavy snow that bends small trees to the ground and breaks off large limbs from the great white pines.  It also temporarily turns our funny little garden shed into an enchanted fairy tale cottage.  

Earlier in the week we'd walked the icy trails at Gilsland Farm, seeking quiet amidst the chaos of the season.  This year's holidays have felt even more tumultuous than usual.  I think the news of the world after this long, often terrible, year has left many of us exhausted.

In the face of unrest and suffering in the world, I've found myself turning more and more to the wintery landscapes and seascapes of my home state for solace.  It's there in the bone-colored branches of birches, the grey ocean waves laced with white, and the dry tufts of frozen grass in open fields that I look for the escape my heart longs for.

I haven't become a complete hermit, I promise.  I welcome the cries of seagulls as I walk the cobblestoned streets of Portland, the rush of winter robins' wings overhead in the trees, and the laughter of school kids swooping down hillsides on makeshift sleds.

And the companionship of loved ones.  I'm not always up for talking these days, but I am almost always up for a walk, and a shared cup of something warm when we return home.

Choosing my word for 2017 was easy.  I didn't even think about it.  I just knew: peace.  That's all I hope for this year.  Peace for those I love, for myself, and for the world.  Over the summer I taught myself how to play ukulele, and one of the first songs I learned how to play was John Lennon's "Imagine."  As I learned the chords and gradually discovered how to weave the words in as I played, I found myself experiencing the song in a new way.  I've always loved the lyrics, but each time I now come to "Imagine all the people, living life in peace," I feel it so strongly that I often have to stop playing for a few moments.  Peace is what I hope for, for me and for you, my friends.  I will do my best to help make it happen in the tiny ways that I know how.  Wishing you a year of joyful adventures, truly funny moments, inspiration, love, and peace.  xo Gigi

Monday, December 5, 2016

Five on Five

Hello, my friends!  Once again, I'm joining in with some photographer friends to share five of my favorite photographs from the past month.  When I look through the shots I took from the past thirty or so days, I feel a tremendous rush of very mixed emotions.  I can't go on without saying that the world feels like it flipped upside down since the last time I posted, and I can honestly say that November 2016 was one of the most surreal months in my lifetime.  I promised myself that after some truly terrible experiences on Facebook early in the month, I would keep my blog a politics-free zone, so I won't talk about any of it here, but I will say that the photo above is of a place that has become a safe haven for Todd and me.  In October we bought a small, rustic cottage on a lake here in Maine, and I took this shot on the afternoon of election day.  It's part of the view from the little beach in front of our camp.  We've already begun work on the place, and we've got lots more to do, but I can hardly wait until spring, when we can start really using the place.  I promise to share photos and stories of the journey.

When life has been too hectic to make it up the camp, we've taken some great walks.  I took the two shots above and below at one of our favorite birding spots, Gilsland Farm, in Falmouth.  It's the home of Maine Audubon, and I can think of few places I'd rather walk at this time of year as autumn dips into winter.

My sister and I spent a couple of days earlier this month making wreaths.  I hung this berry and rose hip wreath up on my shed one night, only to come out in the morning and discover that it had snowed overnight, making the wreath far more beautiful than my humble imagination ever could have. 

I've been teaching and developing classes quite a bit this fall, and haven't had much time for my still life work, but I bought a couple of absolutely incredible pomegranates a couple of weeks ago, and when I combined them with the berries we'd gathered for wreaths, I just knew I had to find a little time for taking some still life photos.  This one below is one of my favorites from the session.

As we head towards the solstice, I wish you much peace and joy, my friends!  May you spend time with the people you love most, may you be warm and safe from harm, and may you discover inspiration in unexpected places.  

If you'd like to see five of my talented friend Stephanie's beautiful photographs from the past month, click here.

More soon! xo Gigi

Monday, October 17, 2016

Of Worms and Wings and Other Sacred, Ordinary Things

Hello, my friends!  Below I have posted the transcript of a talk I gave this past weekend at a celebration of Emily Dickinson's poetry and gardens.  The event was hosted by the Powow River Poets at the beautiful Old South Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  At the end of the day, some folks asked if I'd be willing to share the transcript, and I thought posting it here on the blog might be the easiest way to do just that.  Those of you who read my blog regularly may recognize a few lines here from a post I wrote over the summer as I was drafting this talk.  I've included a few of my photos from past posts here with the talk, too.  Again, if you've read my blog for a while, and you know about my passion for gardens, fields, and woods, you'll immediately understand my love for Emily Dickinson.

Of Worms and Wings and Other Sacred, Ordinary Things

Thank you so much.  I want to say a special word of thanks to the Powow River Poets for this wonderful celebration of Emily Dickinson’s poetry and gardens.   I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday--especially an October Saturday--and you’ll see why in just a bit.

I should begin by saying that I’m not an Emily Dickinson expert.  I’m simply a devoted fan, and I have been ever since I was a kid in the 1970’s.  Back when I was about 9 or 10, I had two summertime obsessions.  They weren’t obsessions that I shared with my friends or anyone else.  These were mine alone.

The first was one that I’m guessing many of you also had and probably still have; I read every single thing I could get my hands on. Magazines, books, cereal boxes—if it had words, I read it.  And somewhere in all that reading, I stumbled upon a collection of verse among my dad’s old college poetry textbooks that included some of Emily Dickinson’s poems. And among those poems I discovered the first verse beyond the nursery rhymes of my early childhood that I knew I had to memorize.  It seemed to me so clever and true that I wanted to put it in my pocket and keep it for myself always.  So I did:

“The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the Bee—
A clover anytime to Him
Is aristocracy.”

These lines embody much that I loved then and still love now about Dickinson’s poetry—economy of line, frankness, and a knack for telling the small but significant truth.  In these four lines she captures the perfect symbiosis between blossom and bee—one of the world’s most essential relationships.  This tiny poem has always stayed with me.  When I was learning calligraphy as a teenager, it was one of the sentences I would write again and again, decorating it with flourishes in the curlicued shape of a bee’s flight pattern.  In the years since then, it’s been a mantra, a touchstone that even now I repeat when I’m working in my garden: “The pedigree of honey does not concern the bee,” I murmur as I trellis the sweet peas or weed among the thyme and rosemary, and again at night as I drift off to sleep, knees aching, hair still smelling of mud and leaves . . . “a clover anytime to him is aristocracy . . . .”

But getting back to my childhood summertime obsessions.  The first was reading, and as you might have already guessed, the second was gardening. I loved spending hours in my mother’s flower garden with my face as close to the peonies, the phlox, and the tiger lilies as possible.  In the garden, my senses were heightened, things seemed more real, and I felt more connected to all the thousands of lives around me than I did anywhere else—connected to the worms in the soil, the butterflies careening among the cosmos, the cardinals calling one another from the branches of our white lilac tree.  I wanted to be near enough to spy on the bees working their dizzy magic, near enough so that the flowers would, as Dickinson writes, “make me regret / I am not a bee” (808).  Beyond the garden was noise and flash and distraction, the next-door neighbors arguing, planes roaring overhead, and the distant wash of cars on the highway—people rushing off to a world that seemed preoccupied with less vital things--at least to me.  There in the garden was the much smaller, more vibrant world that Dickinson describes in Poem 1746:

The most important population
Unnoticed dwell,
They have a heaven each instant
Not any hell.

Their names, unless you know them,
’Twere useless tell.
Of bumble-bees and other nations
The grass is full.

The garden to me, as a kid, felt like existence at its most essential.  While I reveled in its beauty, I don’t really think I held a romanticized notion about the pretty flowers, because, I saw life and death quite clearly for what they were when I was in the garden.  In fact, I think if you want a child to understand death, you give her a hoe, a spade, and a pair of shears, and you send her out to vanquish the weeds, turn the compost, and deadhead the roses.  Much as Emily Dickinson did in her own mother’s garden when she was growing up, I saw death all around me in the garden—and in some cases, I was even the cause of it, whether I wanted to be or not.  I quickly learned that this was an unavoidable part of being a gardener.

I also witnessed intimately how everything that dies helps to bring new life into the world.  And that many of the plants that died each year had ingenious ways of coming back to life the following spring.  As Dickinson asks, “If a pod die, shall it not live again?” (Prose fragment 18)  Over time as I continued to garden, continued to watch pods die each season and then live again, and continued to read Dickinson’s poems about the gardens, orchards, and fields surrounding her home in Amherst, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit—and isn’t this one of the key reasons that we read (and write) poetry?  Dickinson herself called the poets she read “the dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul.”

As a girl, I couldn’t put into words what I was discovering about the interconnectedness of life and death in the garden.  In fact, I don’t even think I can now, really.  As Dickinson writes,  “Nature is what we know— /Yet have no art to say" (668).

But she doth protest too much, because she did have the art to say it: When Roses cease to bloom, Sir, /And Violets are done,” she writes,

When Bumblebees in solemn flight
Have passed beyond the Sun —
The hand that paused to gather
Upon this Summer's day Will idle lie — in Auburn —
Then take my flowers — pray!”

Or in “A Bird came down the walk," where she describes the bird that bit an angle worm in halves, “ate the fellow raw,” drank some dew from the grass, and then “hopped sidewise to let a beetle pass.”  She intimately captures in her poems Tennyson’s “nature red in tooth and claw”  (“In Memoriam A.H. H.") with a scientist’s precision and a poet’s sensibility.  At the same time, she also explores the sacred in the everyday.  “I hope you love birds too,” she wrote to her cousin Eugenia Hall. “It is economical. It saves going to heaven.”  And in “Some Keep the Sabbath” (236) that great old chestnut taught in Introduction to Literature courses everywhere, she eschews conventional religion, finding her spirituality in the family orchard:

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.

For Dickinson the garden embodied immortality. As a girl, she describes heaven in a letter to a friend as “the garden we have not seen.”  And many years later, just before her death, she asked to have her casket carried—by the workmen who tended the family’s grounds—in a circle around her garden, through the barn, and then up through the field of buttercups to the Western Cemetery in the center of Amherst.  Heaven was inseparable from the flowers, the birds, and the bees, which were all parallels to and metaphors for her own life—for our own lives.  That is not to say that she didn’t see them as ends in themselves, but that by seeing and valuing them for their own sake, she came to understand her own existence all the better.  In the garden she found a way to comprehend mortality—and proof of immortality.

When I was a little girl in the garden with my shears and my spade, Emily Dickinson taught me something that I would later come to feel in my bones as true, and it’s that at root, a gardener thinks about life and death always as one. In each flower's race toward blossoming is its race, too, toward decline. I'm saying nothing new, only that when you garden, this thought is always present. In the spring garden I am surrounded by the new growth of runner bean sprouts, the full flush of a climbing rose, and the last breath of a lush peony all at the same moment. My wheelbarrow is piled high with a day's kill: the weeds I pulled, faded blossoms I plucked, lily beetles I crushed between gloved finger and thumb. The gardener must not be squeamish about death. She must recognize its necessity even as she rejoices at the sight of her first ever iris uncurling itself with a flourish from the spear of its stem.  She must also accept its necessity when that iris blossom dies.

It’s a Saturday in October, and the garden is dying.  But it will live again—improbably, miraculously, this coming spring.  Even as it dies, it is living, and it will always live on, as will the iris, the rose, and the jasmine, the Indian Pipe and the clover, in Emily Dickinson’s words.

And so, because she had the art to say it, as well as anyone ever has, and as reverently, too:

“In the name of the Bee—
And of the Butterfly—
And of the Breeze—
Amen!” (21)

Note: Numbers in parentheses refer to poem numbers in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin, 1999.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Always my new year. Always a beginning. Always an answer to an unspoken question. 

When I stray too far from the ways that keep me centered and whole--thinking, listening, sitting quiet and still--October reminds me. 

In my kitchen I watch a ray of sunlight shift to copper at day's end. Apples on the counter wait to be peeled and sliced. Ginger simmers on the stove, its steam curling a golden trail through the room. Outside a cardinal calls to her mate from the oxblood leaves of the ninebark tree. What she sings to him I can never know, but her song keeps time with the beat of my own heart. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

5 on 5

The Standish, Maine, Grange Hall

To live in a place where there are still long stretches of roadsides rimmed with evergreens and lakes where fireflies linger well into the night--this makes me truly blessed.  I want to capture as much of what makes my state precious to me, so this month I snapped shots of grange halls and classic seaside spots as well as some quiet moments of late summer beauty from my garden.

The Mt. Cutler Grange Hall in Hiram, Maine

Zinnias from my garden.  Love.

Evening drinks on the porch at the incredibly beautiful Grey Havens Inn in Georgetown, Maine.

The latest in my Dark Flower Portraits, this one inspired by research I'm doing on Emily Dickinson.
I'm joining in with 5 on 5 again this month.  If you'd like to follow along with the other participants, take a peek here at Jennifer Brake's beautiful blog!

More soon, my wonderful chickadees!  xo Gigi

Friday, August 5, 2016

5 on 5

Hello, my friends!  I have so much I want to share with you.  I'm back participating in 5 on 5 with some very talented photographers this month.  Each month on the 5th we post our 5 favorite photos from the previous month, and then we link to each other's blogs.  I'll post a link at the bottom of this post, and I hope you'll take a peek!

I've been wanting to share with you some wonderful news about my photography.  Last month I showed you some of my recent Dark Flower Portraits, and I just wanted to let you know that some of them are now available at Chelsea Underground Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, Michigan.  You can find out more here.  It's an honor to have my work in this beautiful gallery.

The photo above is one I worked on this month.  It took a while to complete the process with this one, as I shot over several days as the peonies, catmint, and other flowers were drying.  Once I discovered the moment that I was looking for, I then processed the photo with many layers.  As I've mentioned before, I tend to shoot still lifes in my tiny study up under the eaves in our house.  I have one northern facing window up there that lets me really play with light.  I use lots of different backdrops.  For this one, it was an old chalkboard.

When I'm not working on still lifes, I'm thinking about still lifes.  I take long walks in meadows and along the shore, observing the textures of grasses and flowers.  This shot above was near the end of the day at my old favorite haunt, Maine Audubon at Gilsland Farm.

Another favorite spot is Portland Head Light, where I took the photo above.  As with my still lifes, I sometimes layer many textures over landscapes and seascapes, as I've done with this one.

And then sometimes I just aim the camera, adjust the settings a bit, and shoot.  When the sunset is this glorious, I don't need to do much processing.  I took this shot here in Portland out at our new outdoor music venue, Thompson's Point.  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were playing that night, and it was pretty much a classic coastal Maine summer evening.

I'm wrapping up my summer teaching this week, which means I'll have about three weeks off before fall semester begins.  I've had some terrific creative writing students this summer--and all year--and now I'm ready for a couple of weeks of my own writing and photography time.  I'm not gonna lie; it's been a wild summer--a wild year--with some challenges that I wasn't sure I could meet.  July included a short but beautiful trip to Rangeley Lake for hiking and birding, and some of the most outrageous fireworks I've ever seen.  It also included tons of work, lots of visits from family and friends, and a bittersweet weekend spent with family as we celebrated the life and mourned the passing of my sweet Aunt Connie.  She was the last of my father's siblings, and now that she is gone, those days of childhood feel far away.  In remembrance, I've been taking Dark Flower portraits at the end of this month of flowers from my childhood, including these Queen Anne's Lace, mixed here with some fennel.

Thank you so much for visiting, my friends!  If you'd like to see some more of 5 on 5, head on over to Jennifer Brake's wonderful blog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 on 5

So much has been happening around here this past month!  Lots of interesting things are in the works. I have much news to share and many stories to tell, but first I have the great joy of taking part in 5 on 5, along with some wonderful photographer friends. Each month we share 5 of our own photos from the previous 30 days, and we link to each other's blogs, creating a chain of beautiful photos and stories.  How wonderful is that? Big thanks to my friend, Stephanie, for starting this group back at the beginning of the year.  I've known Stephanie for years now through the blogging/Flickr world, and I've long admired her photography, so I'm just chuffed to be a part of this group.  You can see her 5 on 5 post here.

As some of you know, I've been working on a series of pictures that I'm calling my Dark Flower portraits.  The peonies above are one of the newest in the series.  I'll have news to share about the series in my next post, but for now, I'll just share some writing I did in an Instagram post that was inspired by this photo:

A gardener thinks about life and death always as one. In each flower's race toward blossoming is its race, too, toward decline. I'm saying nothing new, only that when you garden, this thought is always present. In the garden I am surrounded by the new growth of runner bean sprouts, the full flush of a climbing rose, and the last breath of a lush peony all at the same moment. My wheelbarrow is piled high with a day's kill: the weeds I pulled, faded blossoms I plucked, lily beetles I crushed between gloved finger and thumb. The gardener must not be squeamish about death. She must recognize its necessity even as she rejoices at the sight of her first ever iris uncurling itself with a flourish from the spear of its stem.

Not all of my recent photos have been dark.  In fact, some have been quite light and even ethereal. I'm taking nearly all of my stills in a northeast facing window of my little workroom/studio/study.  It provides my favorite light for stills.  I can't imagine taking photos without that northeastern light!

The peonies in the twilight shot above are only a few of the thousands to be seen and smelled at Gilsland Farm in June.  This old farm is home to the Maine Audubon Society, and it is one of my favorite spots anywhere in the world.  Meadows, woods, marshes, and lush gardens all in one magical place on an estuary just a few minutes outside of Portland, but truly a world away.

Clearly, peonies have been inspiring me over the past month, but so have many far less showy flowers right here in my own gardens, including the pelargoniums (geraniums).  In the shot above I tucked some lovely wild pink ones into a busted old crate.

The purple geranium in this final shot is one of Todd's favorite flowers.  It's combined with a wee sprig of lady's mantle in a handblown perfume bottle that a former boss gave me a lifetime ago. The Dark Flower portrait series is helping me to see photography--and thus my life--in a new way, and helping me come to terms with some things about the creative process (and the process of just living in this messy, heartbreaking, beautiful world) that have always frightened me.  I relish this chance to dive deeper and work harder.

Thanks, wonderful friends, for stopping by.  You never cease to inspire me.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

5 on 5

On the beach in Bournemouth
Hello, chickadees!  I'm excited to participate in 5 on 5 this month, along with some wonderful photographers I know.  We share our five favorite photos from the past month.  My favorite photos from May are all from a journey Mr. Magpie and I took to England and Belgium, where he was giving talks for a couple of weeks. We were both teaching our online summer classes while we were there, too, so it was a challenge to juggle work, travel, spending time with friends and colleagues, and just soaking up the ambiance and energy of places that we love.  I returned home completely exhausted, but feeling incredibly lucky that I got to be back in England--and was able to explore a bit of Belgium, too!

A grave in the cemetery at St Alfege's Church in Greenwich
Over the years, London has come to feel like a home away from home for us.  When we're there we often stay in Greenwich, which is a Borough of London, but it's located east of the city center, on the south side of the Thames, across from the Isle of Dogs.  Greenwich is incredibly beautiful, and we like to stay at a wonderful B&B there, hopping on the Docklands Light Railway or the Thames Clipper boat when we need to get into the city proper.

Gravensteen Castle in Ghent, Belgium
Midway through the trip, we took the Eurostar to Belgium, so Todd could give a talk in Ghent, and we snuck in a day in glorious Bruges, too.  Both felt like magical fairy tale cities, and I will be back to post much more about them very soon.  I'd never visited Belgium before, but I hope I'll have the chance to return.

One of the many gorgeous store floral displays for #chelseainbloom during the Chelsea Flower Show
Meanwhile, back in London, the Chelsea Flower show was in full swing by the time we returned.  I didn't manage to snag us last-minute tickets, because I wasn't willing to hand over $300 apiece, but we spent a wonderful afternoon at the Chelsea Physic Garden and wandering past the gorgeous floral displays in the shop windows of Sloane Square.

On Princelet Street near Spitalfields
We don't spend a lot of time doing typical tourist stuff in London anymore, preferring to go to neighborhood markets, or to wander through lesser-known gardens and quirky, off-beat museums, sampling street food along the way.  I'm working on a fun post about some hidden treasures to experience if you're looking for something a little off the beaten tourist path in and around London.

Thanks do much for stopping in, my friends.  If you'd like to take a peek at Stephanie's beautiful photographs, her link is here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mingle Magazine

I've been meaning to post some especially lovely news here, my friends.  This month I have the tremendous pleasure of sharing the pages of Mingle Magazine with several of the incredible women who attended Finding Stillness 2015.   We wrote a collaborative feature about the time we spent together, taking photographs, going on hikes, sharing meals, and just finding time for our creative selves at Kim Klassen's The Studio in Rivers, Manitoba.  If you've read my blog post about it, you know what a transformative week it was for me, so to get to work with my photographer friends on this piece for Mingle was pure joy.  I was especially excited that I got to spend a lot of time with Diana Foster to edit the text and gather the photos for the piece.  She is a consummate professional, but she's also sweet and smart and down to earth, and I felt so lucky that we worked on this project together.

I hope you are well, and that every single day finds you doing something you love--even if only for half an hour, but hopefully for longer.  I am finishing up a semester with my writing students over the next couple of weeks, which is bittersweet for me, because this has been an especially productive and exciting semester.  Watching my students' work grow and develop is always rewarding, but this time around has been especially magical.  I feel privileged to witness and be a small part of their creative journeys.  Besides teaching, I've got several photo and writing projects in the works, which I'll keep sharing with you, of course.  And I'm just getting back out into the garden, so there will be photos galore coming soon of new plantings and spring beauties as they begin to emerge.  

More soon from the Maine coast, chickadees! xo Gigi  

"Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable." ~Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

5 on 5

I'm happy to be back with my March 5 on 5 post!  Even though I shot and processed a ton of photos this past month, I felt myself drawn to these shots I took during a very unexpected snowstorm here on the coast at the beginning of the month.  Todd and I were headed south to Boston for the day, and the blizzard came on so fast and furious that we decided to cancel our plans and just hang out here in southern Maine instead.  It ended up being a fairy tale snow globe of an afternoon during which we spotted this fox carrying his lunch of a wee mousie across the snowy lawn of a grand old home by the seashore.  

This shot of Nubble Light in York looks peaceful enough, but I cannot tell you how bitterly cold and windy it was!  I was nearly blown into the water getting the shots above and below.  In the lighthouse photo I know that the water looks peaceful, but that's just my crop.  The shot below is literally what was going on just a few yards away.  I stood in the same spot for both of these pictures, just turning my body slightly.  I've actually never come so close to being hurt while taking a photo. 

We had a beautiful thaw immediately after this storm, complete with crocuses blooming in our yard, trees budding, grass greening, and the tulips and daffs beginning to poke through the soil.  Then today, April 4th, we woke to 16 degrees Fahrenheit and another snowstorm.  I took a short, again very chilly, walk through the West End Cemetery here in Portland after lunch, stopping to pay a visit to one of my favorite gravestone, this beautiful willow marker of Dorothy Abbot.  The West End is the most gorgeous neighborhood in Portland, full of late 19th-century homes, many of them built after the Great Fire of July 4, 1866, which destroyed much of the city.  We are fortunate today that much of Victorian Portland still survives.  A stroll through the stunning West End down to the quaint Old Port still gives one a strong sense of what this seaport must have felt like in the 19th century.

If you'd like to see more 5 on 5, head on over to this post by Leanne Godbey Hymes.  I hope you're well, my friends!  I'll be back soon, hopefully with much more spring-like photos and thoughts to share.  xo Gigi

Saturday, March 5, 2016

5 on 5

Hi, friends!  I've joined up with a wonderful group of photographers to do a monthly 5 on 5 feature. We're sharing our 5 favorite photographs from the previous month on the 5th day of each month.  For me, this was one of the most beautiful Februaries I can ever remember.  Living in Maine, I'm accustomed to harsh, cold weather, towering snowbanks, and intense cabin fever, but we had just a couple of storms, lots of sunshine, and my crocuses even began to bloom by the end of the month, nearly 3 weeks early!  

I took this shot at Marshall Point Lighthouse on the coldest day of the year.  Even though I froze my fingers to take it, the sunlight was glorious, so I didn't mind one bit.

The snow that did fall was of the dreamy, snow-globe variety.  This incredible barn is at Morse's Sauerkraut in Waldoboro.  If you are ever visiting midcoast Maine, a stop at Morse's is a must. 

I tend to take a lot of flower still lifes at this time of year to tide me over until I can be back out in the garden.  Tulips and sunlight get me through to the end of March.

I had the tremendous joy and honor of taking the photo for the cover of a dear friend's new book.  I took a gazillion shots, including a few of the crinoline I wore beneath my wedding gown over twenty years ago.  I was taking shots of vintage dresses, and I realized that this sweet petticoat pretty much qualifies as vintage now.  Yup, we've been married a long time!  I will share the final book cover as soon as the book is published.

And here's a wee bit of color for the final shot.  I bought some very inexpensive lilies at Trader Joe's, and they've been lovely models for going on two weeks now.  

I'm thrilled to be sharing in 5 on 5.  If you'd like to see more, click on this link to my friend Stephanie's wonderful blog.  Thanks for stopping by, lovelies!